Dentist Jim Lafferty is preparing to swim the English Channel to raise funds for Dentaid.
Jim's solo swim was due to take place between 9-15 September depending on weather conditions. He was hoping to complete the crossing between Dover and Calais in around 12 hours and raise £5,000 for Dentaid along the way.
Jim (pictured) will be swimming alongside High Hopes, a boat containing his support team, a pilot and an observer from the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation who will help him to overcome the chilly sea temperatures, strong currents, risk of hypothermia and exhaustion. Although the shortest distance between England and France is 21 miles, drifting currents mean that Jim will probably swim at least 25 miles and will need his team to keep him on course.
The swimming dentist from Sheffield, who also works as an international dentolegal consultant for Dental Protection, was a competitive swimmer and water polo player until he discovered open water swimming a few years ago. He has previously swum sections of the Channel as part of a relay team in 2018 but this will be his longest solo swim.
Jim said: 'You normally have to wait 2-3 years for a slot [to swim the Channel] and support boat to become available but a friend of mine offered me his place. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. It's often said that more people have climbed Mount Everest than have swum the English Channel - it's only been done solo by 2,125 people so far - so it will be quite an achievement.'
The money raised by Jim's swim will help Dentaid restart its work providing emergency dental services for the poorest and most vulnerable people. Medical Protection, which includes Dental Protection, has offices in Leeds where Dentaid provides dental care for homeless and hard-to-reach people. These clinics are due to resume this autumn.